Kamil Gallery Monaco in connection with Monaco Art week exhibit and celebrate Ali Akbar Sadeghi
Ali Akbar Sadeghi is an Iranian artist, living and working in Iran. Recently with the assistance and support of Kamil Fine Art in Monaco hosted a unique exhibition of selected paintings and drawings. Coinciding with Monaco Art week, Akbar Sadeghi joined us in Monaco for a private view at the Kamil Gallery and a talk at the Grimaldi Forum, Monte Carlo. His work is extensive and as his curator, Fereshte Moosavi, who was also present and hosting the events, explains the importance of his work relating to the history of Iran and the inspiration it provides to contemporary artists and the art world in general.
How long have you been curating Akbar Sadeghi? and how did you meet him?
I met with Ali Akbar Sadeghi in 2017, on the occasion of his 80th birthday to curate a retrospective exhibition of this remarkable Iranian artist. The exhibition, which was held between January and April 2018, at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, presented the complete overview of the artist’s entire career to date. Curated by myself in collaboration with Ali Akbar Sadeghi Foundation, this survey encompassed over two hundred artworks of paintings, drawings, book illustrations, graphic designs, animations, sculptures and publications from the 1950s to 2017 providing the definitive account of Sadeghi’s achievements.
Likewise, to have a comprehensive look at Sadeghi’s abundant practice, I organised several public events throughout the exhibition to present lectures by critics, cultural practitioners and academic scholars. Both, the selection of the artworks and the arrangement of the events were made in a way by which to elaborate on multiple dimensional capacities of Sadeghi’s creative mind. The liberal and generous aspects of his work contributed to an analytical, sociological, anthropological, performative and narrational contextualization of this exhibition and resulted in the formation of a publication encompassing all the presented artworks and lecture. Furthermore, a second publication which I am currently working on will present all of the talks and panel discussions that took place throughout the exhibition.
What is the most appealing aspect of his work for you?
I first encountered Sadeghi’s work in my early teenage years when he was publishing watercolor postcards for the Persian new year’s celebration, as well as animations that were made based on Persian epic tales for young adults. Ali Akbar Sadeghi uninterruptedly has been exploring various art forms to activate our collective knowledge and expand on the visual culture of a nation. Reprising the Persian epic book illustrations, mainly from Shahnameh, and Coffee-House Pardeh paintings, as well as cultural/educational books and animations, Sadeghi delineated a natural state of the creative act in the public eye. By normalising the heroic characters of epic tales through a fine humour and working with common systems of visualisation – postcards, advertisements, and book covers – he established himself as an artist in favour of ‘public art’ rather than ‘high’ art. In 1970 Ali Akbar Sadeghi was assigned by the Centre for the Intellectual Development of Children and the Youth (Kanoon Parvaresh Fekri KOODAK VA NOJAVAN, which was founded in 1965 under the supervisory board of Farah Diba) amongst the first group of artists who founded the Film and Animation department.
What is the next exhibition?
Currently, we are working towards an exhibit in London with a focus on his animations for 2020.
Is his work in public collections and where?
His works are part of museum collections such as the British Museum, Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art as well as numerous private collections.
He described himself as a workaholic. What do you think is his motivation to continually produce work?
Sadeghi is a creative being whose life is formed around the practice of creating. For over 60 years he’s been spending 8 hours in his studio every day, and today at the age of 81 he is still doing the same. He has selected a lifestyle of an artist who without making art finds himself lost.
Where and what project would be your dream exhibition?
While exploring various mediums, Sadeghi has produced an extraordinary body of works in graphic art, sculpture, moving image, and eventually in painting. By assembling different tales and spaces, he has created an incompatible genre in his work. I would be delighted if I could tour his work around the world so people can learn about the visual culture of Iran, but I’m most eager to curate exhibitions in Asia where we share so much in literature, culture, and history; some of the very strong elements in Sadeghi’s practice.
For further information please contact:
Tel: 0044 (0)7729 124 150
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